The Heartbreaking History Of Cambodia

Cambodia, a country with such a heartbreaking past… It made a lasting impression on me, every time I think about my time there I still feel the weight of it’s terribly sad history.

What shocked me the most is the contrast between the wonders of Angkor Wat and the horrors of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng museum. I cannot comprehend how a country can go from one of the most developed societies to a starved and murdered people all because of the paranoia of one man…

I find it difficult to find the words how impressive it was to visit the Tuol Sleng prison and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields. That is why I made a photo essay instead… All I can say is, when you are going to Cambodia: read about the history of the country, watch the movie ‘The Killing Fields’ and visit memorials such as the Tuol Sleng prison and Choeung Ek, but these aren’t the only places.

Tuol Sleng Prison

The Heartbreaking History Of Cambodia
Map of Tuol Sleng prison…
The rules...
The rules…
The Heartbreaking History Of Cambodia
The gallows…
The graves of the prisoners who were killed just hours before the prison found by the Vietnamese...
The graves of the prisoners who were killed just hours before the prison was found by the Vietnamese…
The prison...
The prison…
Tuol Sleng prison Phnom Penh
The memorial…

Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Map of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields...
Map of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields…
Choeung Ek Killing Fields
The Memorial Stupa filled with human bones and skulls…
The skulls of people killed at Choeung Ek...
The skulls of people killed at Choeung Ek…
Babies and children were beaten to death against this killing tree...
Babies and children were beaten to death against this killing tree…
A place for contemplation...
A place for contemplation…

Practical information

The entrance fee for the Tuol Sleng prison is $3 per person (without guide). You can find the museum on the corner of Street 113 and Street 350. I walked from my hotel (across the Royal Palace) and took a tuktuk on the way back (around $3 to the city center).

The entrance fee for Choeung Ek Killing Fields, including audio guide, was $6 per person. The address is Sangkat Choeung Aek, it’s about 17 km from the center of Phnom Penh. I drove there on a scooter since the roads were deserted because of Khmer New Year (read more in my 8 day itinerary around Cambodia). You can also go there by tuktuk, but because I haven’t done this myself, I don’t know the price.

Looking for more travel planning resources? Check out the Phenomenal Globe Travel Planning Library and my Travel Resource page.

Cambodia, a country with such a heartbreaking past… It made a lasting impression on me, every time I think about my time there I still feel the weight of it’s terribly sad history. When you are going to Cambodia: read about the history, watch the movie ‘The Killing Fields’ & visit memorials, such as Tuol Sleng prison and Choeung Ek.Cambodia, a country with such a heartbreaking past… It made a lasting impression on me, every time I think about my time there I still feel the weight of it’s terribly sad history. When you are going to Cambodia: read about the history, watch the movie ‘The Killing Fields’ & visit memorials, such as Tuol Sleng prison and Choeung Ek.

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2 Comments

  1. Antonette
    January 5, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    I was very impressed by those sights in Cambodia, it made me feel cold and think “what the fck are we doing to the world” but you know what, even though we all keep thinking this, it still happens in places in the world, currently in Africa. It’s insane but those museums at least make us remember we should all be happy to be alive!

    • Lotte
      Author
      January 6, 2016 / 10:50 am

      I know, that’s the most depressing part. Apparently we never learn…

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